In addition to the Medical School’s wellness program offerings, all medical students enrolled in GSHIP are eligible for psychiatry treatment at SHC. At the Student Health Center, medical students are treated by staff, not residents, so that privacy protections are afforded. Also, medial students who require psychiatric hospitalization or higher levels of mental health care will be referred to community programs; the St. Joseph/Mission Hospital or College Hospital health systems where there are no faculty contacts in order to ensure privacy protections.
There are complex assessments related to security clearances, but what we know is that if you have an identified condition and fail to get it treated or do not follow a recommended treatment plan, this is considered much more problematic than getting a diagnosis and becoming stable. We know students with serious mental health conditions who have obtained security clearances because they have stabilized themselves through the hard work of treatment, and we know students who did not get clearances for trying to “present well” or hide parts of their past. To read more about military security clearances, visit Psychological Conditions and Security Clearances.
Note that a security clearance is different than qualifying to be a Law Enforcement Officer (LEO). Requirements are based on individual jurisdictions. In California, the current standards can be found here: https://post.ca.gov/Certification.
To be an active patient, you will need to be seen, on average, once every three (3) months by your doctor. In advance and as early as possible, you should discuss with your doctor any travel plans, including preparing for out-of-state or out-of-country field study, Education Abroad (EAP), or UCDC. Because your mental health needs can change based on your environment, and because most medical decisions are best made with a face-to-face visit, you will be encouraged to plan ahead for receiving health care at your destination site.
Ideally, this means identifying the location of your next practitioner(s) and sending a copy of your records well in advance so that your health care transition is smooth. An inability to do this may limit your medical and psychiatric clearance/approval to travel abroad, which is determined on a case-by-case basis. Our practitioners are licensed only to practice in the state of California. We do not find that telephone-only or secure-message-only decision making without an in-person examination, is safe or complies with ethical standards of care.
If you are going on a brief (e.g., < 2 month) holiday, please be advised that your pharmacy benefits may allow for a “vacation exception” where you can get a limited supply of your medications filled early to accommodate travel.
If you have a medical condition that requires academic accommodations, your provider will help refer you to the campus Disability Services Center with your consent. From that point onward, your academic accommodations should be negotiated between the DSC and your professors/instructors. Unless your doctor has excused your attendance (e.g., an unplanned hospitalization), the independent decisions that you make to not attend class or to not complete assignments will be your responsibility to address with your academic unit. We can provide a verification of your visit (e.g., disability letter) and make recommendations as to your ability to return to full time school or work if needed, but we will not retroactively excuse you from your academic responsibilities unless we have made it a medical recommendation as part of your treatment plan on a case-by-case basis. Remember that, by law, providers have up to 15 business days to produce letters, summaries, records or documents on your behalf, so please plan wisely.
We adhere to University policies which retain your health records for 7 – 10 years, depending on the circumstance. We encourage you to transfer records to your next provider(s) upon graduation or completion of treatment for the best continuity of care. The whole record may be given to your next providers with your consent, and often, a summary of treatment is given to patients upon request in lieu of the entire record.